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Child mental health

DS aged 6 anxiety issues awaiting CAMHS referral - how to prepare?

2 replies

missingthemountains · 22/04/2015 20:49

our son is six and have a GP appointment for ten days time to ask for a CAMHS or psychologist referral and I would really appreciate any advice on how best to prepare for the appointment

DS has a history of extreme phobias and anxieties. He had a severe dog phobia (which then extended into a cat phobia, bird phobia and anything-that-moves phobia)

He then had huge anxiety issues with toilet training. We saw a psychologist once when he was 3 which really helped him get over these two issues at the time

Now he has an extreme anxiety associated with one particular aspect of school life. The school are being helpful and have said they fully support a referral. DH works alongside CAMHS professionals and has talked to them informally and they have said they think DS meets the threshold for a referral to them
We are aware that it's going to be a wait till we see someone so what can we do in the meantime to prepare for the GP appt. and any potential specialist appointment.

Would it worthwhile keeping a diary? A chronology of key issues up until now?

Any tips one how to support DS who tonight was in tears over his anxieties and said he just wants to be like normal people? Sad

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MerdeAlor · 23/04/2015 16:29

Bumping for you. My DS has similar issues. His referral to CAMHS was 6 years ago so I can't provide any up to date information for you.

I would say that a diary and chronology is a very good idea, as is summing up key issues and things that make them better or worse.

As for what helps, we have used guided mediation / relaxation apps at bedtimes. Plus adequate exercise each day.

We found having firm boundaries and rules has helped. A predictable life is helpful, as is warning of change and minimising unnecessary stress without indulging the anxiety.
My DS sees a specialist psychologist privately for anxiety. He has found it more useful as he's gotten older but if you can afford this it might be an idea.

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ToffeeWhirl · 23/04/2015 16:45

My older son has had issues with extreme anxiety since he was young. It's very hard. I agree that keeping a diary will be very helpful to you and to the CAMHS clinician that you see.

I found this book by Dawn Huebner really helpful: 'What to Do When You Worry too Much'. It's for children aged six to twelve.

The only thing that has really helped my son is medication and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. He has had CBT three times now (he needs to revisit it when his anxieties become bad again). Obviously, your son is too young for meds and CBT should be enough to resolve the issues. My son was nine when he first had it and it was very effective.

One thing I did find was that the CAMHS' clinician's first thought seemed to be that we were anxious parents transferring our anxieties onto our child. We never felt this was the case and found it frustrating that our concerns were dismissed because CAMHS assumed it was our 'fault'. After that experience, I would advise you to be careful what you say about yourself so that they don't label you.

I hope your son gets the help he needs soon.

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